I am excited to share today’s interview with you all, with someone I have long followed – Rae from TheRAEviewer. Rae as I’m sure many of you know, is a beauty expert and makeup artist who focuses on reviews and tutorials with luxury cosmetics. I always thoroughly enjoy reading her reviews and watching her tutorials on YouTube – Rae is super likable, always gives great advice and honest recommendations, and plus is just an overall gorgeous girl! I love seeing her transform herself with different looks. Enjoy meeting Rae!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
My name is Rae, and I am a beauty blogger from Southern California.
You’re a beauty expert – especially in the area of luxury beauty products. Can you share some of your favorite brands – and why they are your favorites?
Tom Ford Beauty is my favorite beauty brand because I have had such great luck with almost every product I have tried. My lips are very sensitive, and his Private Blend and Lip Color Shine lipstick formulas are some of the few that do not cause chapping or peeling. Guerlain is another brand that has an impressive track record with me, for their powders and many of their lip products manage to exceed my expectations.
Chanel was my first designer makeup love, and remains one of my most purchased brands for collectible pieces such as their highlighters, exquisite nail polishes, and hydrating lip glosses. Cle de Peau and Lancome are a couple more of my go-to brands for their easy to use basics, and their skin care has consistently worked for me. YSL is the best designer brand for eyeshadow color fiends, so much variety!
What are some of your all time favorite higher end beauty products?
I cannot live without my facial cleansing oils by Shu Uemura (Pore Clarifying formula) and Shiseido (Benefique formula). Mascara, since it is the one beauty product I wear most regularly. Next would be my Tom Ford Eye Color Quads and lipsticks. The glitter shadows in his eyeshadow palettes are divine, and the color ranges of his lip products suit my taste best. YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation is my go-to for regular wear because it is light and hydrating, but Burberry’s Sheer Cover is my special occasion foundation because it does not flash back in photos. Both look very natural on normal skin, and I always use my BeautyBlender sponge to apply them.
By Terry’s eye primer soothes and smoothes the surface of my lids, while Sara Happ’s Lip Scrub gently but effectively clears away the dry patches on my lips. Guerlain’s Loose Mineral Bronzer is one of my favorites, but I tend to wear the Tarte Amazonian Clay bronzer more regularly since it comes in compact form. Jo Malone’s Body Cremes are undoubtedly at the top of my list of luxury bath products. Lancome’s Artliner is still my favorite eyeliner.
I know that your focus is usually luxury products – what about some of your favorite drugstore finds?
I like Maybelline eyeshadow palettes (particularly the Eye Studio palettes), L’Oreal lipsticks and lip glosses, Maybelline Age Rewind concealers, Maybelline Line Stiletto eyeliner, Revlon ColorStay foundations, e.l.f. powder blushes, and the Physicians Formula Mineral Powder. As you can see, I tend to prefer Maybelline. And though it may not be a product that you can purchase at a drugstore, I love the BH Cosmetics 120 Ultra Shimmer Palette because it is so fun to play with. I usually do not wear bright eyeshadow looks out of the house, but some of my favorite bright eye shadow colors are from that palette.
What’s the item that you’ve bought and rebought the most times in your beauty collection?
Lancome Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara is undoubtedly the most repurchased item out of my entire collection. I lost track after a dozen! It’s one of the top three makeup products I cannot live without. I have stubborn lashes that fall straight down, so a mascara with excellent hold and volume is a must in my book. A touch of powder and two coats of the ideal mascara for your lashes will make a world of a difference on casual days (or every day, depending on how much makeup you like to wear).
What types of beauty items would you recommend somebody splurge on – and which ones do you think we can save a little on, with drugstore finds?
I recommend splurging on basics in any beauty category. Foundations, skin care, and lip products are my favorite splurges due to my sensitive skin. But drugstore eyeshadows are where you can really save, since many of the formulations have improved drastically over the years. Drugstore blushes are another save, since most blushes tend to vary less in color once actually applied to the skin. You just have to invest in the right blush brush to blend them in well. Drugstore moisturizers like the new Vaseline Spray & Go are great bargains!
What would be some of the best advice on beauty that you’ve ever received – that you can share?
Experiment until you find your best look! “Best” may be relative, but I say your best look is the one that gives you the most confidence. Sort out which techniques, styles, and colors accentuate your best features. I love the winged liner look because it elongates my eyes, so I always wear a cat eye shape. But I think the absolute rule to beauty is a flawless base, which means taking immaculate care of your skin because there is only so much you can transform with makeup. Wear sunscreen daily and moisturize both face and body!
Do you ever go makeup free? Is it really good for your face to do so?
I go makeup free often. These days, I only ever put on a full face of makeup when I am filming a video or for a special occasion. The key is to take the makeup off before sleeping. Cleanse your skin thoroughly after the day is over, and follow up with a solid regimen of toner, serum, and moisturizer/night cream. Furthermore, wash those pillowcases weekly! People always recoil in horror when they hear of ladies exercising with makeup on, but I am proof that working out with a clean face does not always make a positive difference. I break out more often now, when I do not wear a stitch of makeup to hot yoga or the gym, than when I did exercise with my morning’s makeup on. I do, however, believe it is beneficial for the skin to go make-up free as much as possible.
Can you share a little bit about your style? What are some of your favorite items in your wardrobe?
My style is fairly conservative. I use color sparingly, and I am most comfortable in pants or dresses. I favor buying jackets, though I rarely wear any of them anymore because I’m always in lululemon. Nevertheless, my wardrobe is full of basics like the Theory Len Tubular Tanks and various shirt styles, oversized Vince Car Coats and cashmere sweaters, Splendid tees and long cardigans, and of course, Joie silk blouses. Joie makes the loveliest silk pieces with fair pricing.
I once purchased J.Crew shirts and blouses religiously, but I haven’t seen anything worth splurging on as of late. I like to look at and shop for trendy pieces at DailyLook or Forever 21 (both online) because they are fun, but I wholeheartedly support investing in timeless pieces and place a lot of emphasis on fabric. I love silk and cashmere! It’s all in the details. I fall head over heels for contrasted piping, perfectly secure stitching, oh and strategic pleating.. don’t get me started on delicate pleats.
Paige and Hudson make my favorite denim, though I tend to wear my Paige jeans more. BCBG Max Azria waist belts are my weakness, though they tend to be harder to find nowadays. I developed a taste for Christian Louboutin heels in the last year, and my favorites are the Pigalle 100mm, though all my friends find the Decolette 100mm to be the best all-round shoe. I suppose I am one of the few who prefers a pointy toe box.
What are some of your other passions and hobbies?
I adore art. I love visiting museums and finding unexpected paintings to admire. Impressionist art is my true love, though I do have a soft spot for the Baroque style. I will admit it has been a dream since my childhood to someday purchase a Georgia O’Keefe painting. One day, perhaps!
Photography is a relatively new hobby of mine. I have owned my Canon 7D for a good year or so, but now I am seriously proactive about improving my photo skills. I shoot mostly product shots for the blog, so naturally macro shots are my favorite! And, I’ve always been passionate about cooking. I learned how to cook properly in college, after countless hours of watching the Food Network, believe it or not. Cooking came easily to me because I love food so much. I am all about contrast and texture.
I have yet to delve into French food because most of the dishes I want to make do not align with my clean eating lifestyle, but I do plan to experiment more with technical cuisine this year, especially now that my palate and plating techniques have much improved. I practice food photography as often as I can, but it is much more difficult than I had anticipated because jumping from the hot stove to the camera (and washing my hands every time) can be distracting. Still, my clean eating regimen and fitness endeavors in the forms of hot yoga and powerlifting have motivated me further to improve my photography craft.
As I’ve continued to share my progress through iPhone photos on Instagram, I’ve been getting an overwhelming number of supporters asking me for tips and advice. As a result I’ve been working on a special project that will focus on this new interest which should be launching soon.. meaning better photos required 😉
And finally – please share something surprising about yourself!
I may be Korean American, but I do not particularly care for most Korean cuisine. I am not a picky eater (in fact, I will try almost anything once), but my spicy food tolerance is very low. Tammy, my best friend/sister-from-another-mother who is of Vietnamese descent, introduced me to many Vietnamese dishes that I constantly crave. Banh beo, bun bo hue, and nem nuong are just some of my favorites! I would like to visit Vietnam one day just to stuff my belly full of fresh fruit! Dragonfruit in particular 🙂
I’ve mentioned several times that I am a complete dunce in beauty – and thus I really have to give a big thanks awesome women like Rae who take the time to put together such comprehensive reviews and tutorials. Through my favorite makeup bloggers I’ve discovered so many of my now favorite products, that I never would have found otherwise. I’m so glad to hear that Rae will be branching out as well into areas like photography, food and fitness – I’d love to learn more from her! Thank you very much to the lovely Rae for being here today – and more, check out TheRAEviewer on YouTube and on it’s blog.